Announcing the Winner of the 2008 DA BWAHA: The Rest Falls Away

Tear down the streamers.  Deflate the balloons.  The Dance is over (that’s what they call the NCAA Tournament).  The winners of the first annual DA BWAHA are as follows:

Book CoverColleen Gleason’s The Rest Falls Away is our champion and is awarded

  • A bad ass feather quill pen with which to pen her next romantic opus

  • The graphic proclaiming her book the winner

  • A free one-month ad space on both Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and Dear Author, month and content to be determined.

  • Pimpage like nothing else, guaranteed.
  • A $50 gift certificate for irreverently awesome style from

The burning question was how does it feel to be the winner of the first annual DA BWAHA Tourney?

First I’d like to say how totally delighted I am that THE REST FALLS AWAY was nominated in the original 64, and that the competition was one of the most fun things I’ve seen to come out of book-blog-land. Leave it to the Smart Bitches and Dear Author to create their own kind of March Madness!

I haven’t read all of the 64 books, but based on the ones that I have read, I can say that I’m absolutely thrilled to have been included with such great novelists—the ones I’m familiar with were indeed wonderful books, and now I want to make sure to read all of them.

Big honking thanks to everyone who voted for THE REST FALLS AWAY, and especially to Nora Roberts, who is one of my idols. What a thrill to compete against HIGH NOON for the championship!

And, yes, since you asked, Jane, I will tell you that I did fill out a bracket, and I didn’t pick my book to win. I didn’t even pick my book to make it past the third round, so WOW! (I picked HIGH NOON to win it all, in fact.)

Thank you again for a great contest and a lot of fun. Next year, I really hope to see more trash talking!

Oh, and advice for authors competing next year: when you fill out the brackets, pick your own book to win! It looks really bad if you win and you have your book falling out after the third round. Sheesh.

Thanks again to Sarah, Candy, and the Ja(y)nes! This was a lot of fun!

The best bracketologist of all is Laura D.  Laura received 128 out of a possible 192 points or, in other words, (because Sarah for one couldn’t explain how the pointing works if her life depended on it, and fills out her own bracket for the NCAA based on colors and towns she’d like to visit) Laura’s bracket was 67% accurate.  The breakdown of the of her picks were as follows:

  • First 32 matches:  24 correct
  • Sweet Sixteen:  10 correct
  • Elite Eight:  5 correct
  • Final Four:  2 correct
  • Championship:  1 correct

It was her choice of the champion, The Rest Falls Away, by Colleen Gleason that resulted in her win, putting her over the top of second place finisher Amy R who would have won if High Noon had been the champion. How did she pick her picks?  In her own words:

Wow!  I was NOT expecting to find anything like this in my in-box!  What a nice change from ads for penis enlargement and cheepViCodin.

It feels pretty doggone cool to have won.  I’m sitting here with a goofy ol’ grin on my face, thinking “Hmmmm. Vegas?”  Truthfully though, it was pure dumb luck.  Well, that and an enormous dose of stupidity.  When filling in my bracket I forgot that High Noon had been written by Nora.  Otherwise, it would have been my pick all the way through. I intend no offense to ANY of the other brilliant authors,  especially Colleen Gleason, but…she’s Nora…and the odds were pretty good in her favor.  Plus, it was a really good book. (Can you believe she’s going to publish number 200 soon? Wow!)

My picks were made heartlessly: I picked the book I thought would win.  In several cases, I enjoyed the “loser” much more than the “winner”; but knew I was in the minority. I would have been interested to see how things would have changed if “Agnes/Hitman” hadn’t faced off against “High Noon” in the first bracket.  A big surprise for me was “My Fair Captain” beating “Dirty”.  I’ve read and loved both (very different) books, but “Dirty” is a keeper for me.  Other favorites from the tourney include “Wicked Lovely”, “Vampire Queen’s Servant”, “Driven”, “The Rest Falls Away”…….and I could keep going.

Her winning haul was:

  • A 6-month subscription to PaperSpine, courtesy of the fine folks at PaperSpine. Yay, PaperSpine!

  • A signed collection of the books that made the Elite 8 of our DA BWAHA Tournament

  • Mad Props

  • Big Ups

  • A graphic for your personal site proclaiming to all and Sundry (Sundry, I know for a fact, is SUCH a silly cow so you totally want to rub it in her face) that you are The Winnah.

  • A $50 gift certificate for irreverently awesome style from

The winner of the 2nd Chance Pool is Joyce D who won by a fairly healthy margin.  She had a 134 points and the next competitor had 102.  But, had High Noon won, she would have tied with entry Never That Easy (sounds like a racehorse name) at 102 points because you get more points for the final round.  Both Joyce D and Never That Easy had picked The Rest Falls Away, as the ultimate champion.  Only two people picked The Rest Falls Away, to be the champion, even in the 2nd Chance Pool.

  • Sweet Sixteen:  15 correct
  • Elite Eight:  6 correct
  • Final Four:  2 correct
  • Championship:  2 correct

Joyce D won some fab prizes including a $25 gift certificate to Turn the Page bookstore.

So now some bracketology.  Only two people picked The Rest Falls Away as the champion.  Its competitor, High Noon, was the overwhelming favorite, having been chosen 51 times.  The top five books that were picked as champions are as follows:

  • High Noon:          51
  • Agnes & Hitman:      30
  • Natural Born Charmer:  27
  • The Serpent Prince:      24
  • Demon Angel:        20

Of the brackets, I thought the paranormal one was the toughest with Meljean Brook’s Demon Angel, Patricia Briggs’ Blood Bound, CL Wilson’s Lord of the Fading Lands, The Sharing Knife by Lois McMaster Bujold and so forth battling it out.  The winner came out of that paranormal region. We had the toughest time filling the Contemporary region in part, I think, because none of the readers who slated the nominations (Sarah, Candy, and the multiple J’ers at DA) read a lot of straight contemporary.  We read Romantic Suspense, Women’s Fiction, and Chick lit.  We also read categories which have their region.  The Novel with Romantic Elements was like a catch all for us.  Blood Bound could have easily gone there.  (That would have been an interesting matchup between Magic Bites and Blood Bound).

One more area of post-mortem that has nothing to do with this year’s contest and everything to do with next year’s: what would you like us to do differently? We’ve taken into account that the US is not the center of the known universe (I know, I was shocked, too) and after round 1 we opened voting to everyone world wide by hosting voting polls for 24 hours. We’ve also heard and agree with the criticism that the YA category doesn’t need to feature the best-of-YA as a genre, and should focus on YA romance, since this is, after all, a romance tourney. Agreed. Jane and I have talked about soliciting nominations prior to our development of the 2008 DA BWAHA slate of 64 books, and how to conduct voting, so we want to hear your opinions. All of ‘em.

Some other topics we would like for you to consider is whether the idea of the sponsorship bothered you.  How do you feel about authors encouraging their readerships to vote?  If you didn’t participate, would you next year and if not, what would make you participate?  If you did participate, are you likely to participate in the future?

What else would you change for next year? Please give us your thoughts. On our end, we promise to build up next year’s DA BWAHA so it is bigger, the prizes are more spectaculawsom, and the bragging rights stretch into the vast infinite reaches of the internet. Or, something like that. Definitely bigger, badder, and more bodacious prizes, to be sure.

Special thanks to Speak Its Name, The YA YA YAs, Uniquely Pleasurable and Teddy Pig who helped fill our slate of YA and GLBT regions. And more special thanks to our sponsors:




Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Nora Roberts says:

    Congratulations to Colleen, and to Laura!

    This whole thing was just so much fun. Seriously cool idea—and can’t wait to do it again next year!

    Thanks SBs and DA.

  2. 2

    It was a lot of fun, and what an honor to compete in the finals against you, Nora!

    My knees are still shaking.

    Can’t wait for next year.

  3. 3
    Carl V. says:

    Kick ass!  I’m so thrilled for Colleen, who is a dear and writes thrilling books. As a male who generally stays away from the romance genre I have to admit that books like Colleen Gleason’s make me take a second look and wonder what else I am missing.

  4. 4
    Wryhag says:

    Will ya just look at these first two posters?  Classy ladies, great writers.  In one place.  Whoa.

    Congratulations, Colleen.  Nora…so what’s another award? :-)

  5. 5
    MaryKate says:

    Congratulations Colleen and Laura!! I was too intimidated to fill out a bracket this year, but you’d better believe I’m in next year.

    SBs and DA ladies, thank you so much for such an entertaining and fun idea.

  6. 6
    Kerry says:


    I really liked the idea, and I’m thinking of stealing it in a some format for a reader’s advisory promotion in the future.

    I would like more trash talk though. i tried, but no one else has a foul mouth. :(

  7. 7
    Tink says:

    Woohoo!!! Congrats, Colleen!!

  8. 8
    Danielle says:

    So Colleen takes the field and the rest fall away, eh?

    *ducks tomatoes, eggs*

  9. 9
    Joanne says:

    Congratulations to all the winners!

    Being tied for 924th makes me THE person to go to about changes for next year. Don’t change a thing.

    Don’t change anything unless it is something that makes it easier for the SB’s and DA’s and other players.

    My answer about the sponsors is: why not have sponsors? They weren’t intrusive and added to the real-feel of the tournament.

    Thank you all for such a great game.

  10. 10
    Jennie Lucas says:

    Congratulations, Colleen! What fabulous news!

  11. 11
    Danielle says:

    As for what I’d prefer to see next year – I’d like to get a list of the nominees well in advance of the voting so that I can read more of them!

    Actually, I’d quite like to see some kind of similar competition based on excerpts of upcoming books – everyone reads the excerpts and votes for the ones they like best. It would be a fun publicity thing, and everyone could read the excerpts so voting would be more equal.

    As for sponsorship, I have no problem with that. It’s not like Paperspine really cared who won, and you were upfront about it.

  12. 12
    Suzanne says:

    Congratulations, Colleen! Fun poll.

  13. 13

    Congrats, Colleen!

  14. 14
    Marci says:

    Congrats to the winners!

    This was so much fun.  And I found so many great new reads to keep me busy.

    Between this contest and the RITA noms, I have LOTS of books to catch up on.  And it will be fun to compare the two contests and the books that were chosen. 

    One thing I would suggest for next year is maybe posting the “Game Time” for each round of voting.  I was expecting the Championship round to be Monday, like the NCAA championship game.

  15. 15

    I haven’t read this book yet, but it’s been on my TBR pile!! I feel in love with the cover and now I’m convinced the inside is just as good!


  16. 16

    I feel in love with the cover and

    ugh…that should be “I fell in love…”  NOT. QUITE. AWAKE. YET.  LOL!

  17. 17

    Congratulations, Colleen! And cograts to all those who participated in a fun-filled chaotic event. Also, I agree with Danielle, I’d love to see an “excerpt” version done too. Also, I’m in fav of sponsors too.

    You ladies kick ass!

  18. 18
    KCfla says:

    Congrats Ms. Gleason!

    And this was just too much fun for words. Thanks again Bitches and Ja(y)nes!
    I’m with the others above that getting the list a nominees a little in advance would be nice ( a week or so?). That way perhaps we would have a chance to really think about/research our choices. Especially for those of us that don’t necessarily know any of the books in certain categories.

    I know, in my case, I was totally lost and just taking wild guesses in a couple of the groups. At least with a little lead time- we might have time to think about our choices. Instead of the time honored “enee, meeny, miney, moe” system lol!

  19. 19
    Kristin says:

    Hey Colleen – Congrats on the AWESOME news of your win!!!  Just way TOO COOL!!! :)

  20. 20
    annanickle says:

    Congrats Colleen and Laura! You be the awesome-est of them all…

  21. 21
    Jackie says:

    Huzzah, Colleen!

  22. 22
    Darlynne says:

    As someone totally clueless about this or any other brackets except those on my keyboard, I had a ball and can’t wait for next year. Congratulations, Colleen! Well played.

    ver word: said75 Yes, they did!

  23. 23

    Huge congrats, Colleen! You know I think your books are fabulous. And congrats to each author who was included in the contest. Considering how many books are released in a year, it really is a wonderful accomplishment to be included in the top few.

  24. 24
    kit says:

    Congratulations, Colleen, and thanks, everyone who was involved in putting on the tourney! I work in a library and have been relentlessly promoting the tournament since it started (well, relentlessly promoting it to everyone who will go to a website with “Bitches” in the title – not all our folks are openminded that way).

    As some other people have said, I’d love to know the books farther in advance, so I could actually read more of them before I vote. That would make it more like the basketball version of March Madness, where you’ve been following your favorites before the tournament starts.

    few94 – I have a few more books to add to my 94-book tall to-read pile!

  25. 25
    Suze says:

    Add me to the “advance notice” and/or “excerpts” group.  I didn’t participate because, when I looked at the initial list, I found I hadn’t read most of the offerings, and didn’t feel qualified to vote.

    I would vote based on excerpts.

    With advance notice, I’d probably feel overwhelmed at the pile of required reading, and be unable to access the books easily (in my stupid town that has ONE, SMALL bookstore and ONE, SMALL library to serve 80 thousand flipping people grrrr), and still not vote.

  26. 26

    Big big congrats, Colleen. You’re gonna love that girly feathery pen.

  27. 27
    Andrea says:

    Congratulations, Colleen!!  I absolutely love this series!

  28. 28
    Josie says:

    Congrats Colleen! Same to you Laura!

    This comp was an absolute blast, thanks so much for organising it.

    I actually had read quite a lot of the nominated books and it didn’t really help me at all! My pick was knocked out around the Elite Eight sadly.

    Excerpts from nominated books would definitely be welcome in the future though!

  29. 29
    Priscilla says:

    Way to go, Colleen!! The competition was fierce and worthy!  What a thrill for you.

    Pris (your Posse sister)

  30. 30
    Jen says:

    WOOO HOOO COLLEEN!! (and Laura too ;) )



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